Last year, EA Sports NHL 15 was released to the sound of many jeers as some of the most beloved features of the PS3/Xbox 360 versions had been removed, including EASHL, Winter Classic, and Online Team Play. The franchise had been gaining momentum as one of EA’s strongest sports offerings outside of the FIFA series.
So this year, the NHL 16 dev team is hoping to regain some of the mojo lost to last year’s paired down release. Their approach seems simple: give back to the fans what made the series successful to begin with. A list of features for NHL 16 is below.
The New EASHL
Sharpen those skates and grab your buddies because the EA SPORTS Hockey League is back! This fan-favorite online team mode has been re-imagined and lets you choose specialized player classes to deliver a balanced competitive experience on the ice. Player skill and your ability to play as a team will now be the determining factor in who wins and loses hockey games.
6v6 Online Team Play
Play online with up to twelve skaters, including user controlled goalies. Using real-world NHL rosters, you can compete in ranked drop-in games against players from around the world or invite your friends to a private OTP session before you step into EA SPORTS Hockey League.
Online Couch Co-Op
The perfect way to play when you and your friends want to jump on the couch, join forces and play some drop-in hockey online. It’s the best place to practice your team play skills before playing OTP or EASHL.
A way to play for every hockey fan
Whether you’re an armchair GM, want to live out your NHL pro fantasy, or build your ultimate dream team, NHL 16 will deliver a single-player game mode for every type of hockey fan – each with new features that you’ve never seen in EA SPORTS NHL.
Be a GM: Player Morale
Being a GM is about more than just getting the best players, it’s about getting the right players to play well together. Each player on your NHL and AHL team has a different personality that you will have to manage. Deal with trade demands, teammate relationships, and much more by calling team meetings or adjusting your roster to directly affect your team’s on-ice performance.
Be a Pro: Shape Your Legacy
The way you play dictates the type of player you will become in an all-new Be a Pro progression system. On-ice actions directly influence attributes earned, ensuring that your Pro will reflect the way you play. Work your way up from CHL rookie to an NHL Superstar also make a return in NHL 16.
Hockey Ultimate Team: Single Player Seasons
The most played mode in the NHL series gets even better. Improved player management and the introduction of HUT Single Player Seasons gives you another way to hone your skills before jumping online with HUT Online Seasons or challenging your friends with the Play a Friend feature.
Visual On-Ice Training
Whether you’re new to the NHL series and looking for pointers or are a grizzled veteran trying to perfect your game, this new training tool will help sharpen your offensive and defensive skills no matter your talent level. Visual aids project shooting targets, passing lanes, open teammates, and more.
Complete Control from Every Position
Whether you play as a forward, defense, or goalie, NHL 16 delivers a balanced gameplay experience that makes every position on the ice meaningful to team success. With gameplay innovation on offense and defense, players have new tools to not only score goals, but to prevent them as well.
Utilize a new skating tool that allows you to make refined movements with your skater in any situation. On defense quickly jump into passing lanes and intercept the puck, or walk the blueline on the power play and open yourself up for that one-timer in the offensive zone.
Seamless Puck Pick-Ups
The ability to quickly control a pass or corral a loose puck can be the difference between generating a scoring chance and getting leveled. New puck pickups result in smoother transitions when receiving the puck no matter what your position, giving you more time and control to make your next move.
Unrivaled Game Day Authenticity
NHL 16 brings the game to life with distinct arena atmospheres, the most realistic players yet, and a story-driven commentary package to pull you into the energy of the game like never before.
Distinct Team Arena Atmospheres
Best in class arena authenticity gets even better with the inclusion of authentic arena effects and props including team specific celebrations, mascots, chants, and even signature props like the Lighthouse at the Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota.
Story Driven Commentary
Doc Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Ray Ferraro are back and now call the game with even more emotion. Hear Doc’s voice rise and fall with the action on the ice and get analysis from Eddie & Ray on the peaks and valleys of a NHL season. An expanded NBC SPORTS broadcast package and new pre-game intros brings the drama to life in more ways than ever before.
Enhanced facial features and new equipment details synonymous with the league’s top players adds another layer of player authenticity. Use these new equipment elements to customize your own created character giving them a unique look, from custom stick tape, colored skate laces, tinted visors, and more.
One of the oldest and most iconic traditions in hockey has arrived. With accurate representations of beard patterns, length, thickness, and growth rates for individual players, the road to the Stanley Cup just got hairier.
EA Sports NHL 16 will be released on PS4, Xbox One in September of 2015.
What features are you most excited about?